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The Group Audiobook

The Group

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Publisher's Summary

The Group follows eight graduates from exclusive Vassar College as they find love and heartbreak, and choose careers and husbands against the backdrop of 1930s New York.

Mary McCarthy (1912-1989) was born in Seattle, Washington. She was a short-story writer, bestselling novelist, essayist and a social and art critic. She was a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters and won the National Medal for Literature and the Edward MacDowell Medal in 1984.

©1963 Mary McCarthy (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (8 )
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4.3 (8 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Ross McDougall Perth, Australia 20/06/2017
    Ross McDougall Perth, Australia 20/06/2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lived up to expectations"

    A mid 30's exploration of society, life and other sexy and nasty things through the eyes of eight young women grads? Sign me up!
    Although it's not crying out to be read by me, I decided to take this book on after hearing it was a favourite of a reviewer I enjoy hearing from.

    Well it is definitely a deep dive into the time; fashion, relationships, culture, society, class, privilege and all manner of matters are discussed in detail in the Group. McCarthy's language is adept at painting a vivid picture of the scenes, sights and sounds our characters are exposed to (and seek out). It was very easy to fall into a trance-like state as more and more details are added to the scene in your head and as it rises and reaches its climax (sometimes figuratively, sometimes literally).

    I listened to this as an audiobook, and I find the number of characters in it to be at about the limit for a single-performer recording. Lorelei King does an excellent job of giving all the characters enough individuality, but I think this story teeters on being more engaging as a multi-cast recording. Journeying with the whole group through their various trials and tribulations was as exciting and nerve-wracking for me as it was for them, and I think McCarthys' tone is all the more robust due to the semi-autobiographical nature of the novel.

    The treatment of women in society as well as the general class-tone to society is always somewhat uncomfortable to see in historically set works, but in The Group it is often outright jarring to see from the perspective of the women. I wonder if as in the book it's just accepted as 'the way things are' would fly with me back in the 30s, but i'll just have to ponder that for myself and continue to work to dilute such discrimination where I see it. But enough about me...

    The Group really only loses marks as the subject matter is far from appealing to me, but I can very much appreciate the revolution it encouraged upon first publication just as I am able to understand the gravitas that a period drama brings to the medium while wanting to get far away from it should it be screening.

    This was a fun excursion from my normal fare, and has encouraged me to seek out more writing less closely aligned with my experiences.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Jane
    wareside, United Kingdom
    30/07/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Long, laboured but enjoyable"
    Would you try another book written by Mary McCarthy or narrated by Lorelei King?

    Lorelei King is very good and Mary McCarthy I would try again, but may be as a book rather than an audiobook


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    In the asylum


    Which character – as performed by Lorelei King – was your favourite?

    Probably Kay with Polly running as a close second with Nadene coming a very close third. Although they were quite distinct through her characterisation.


    Was The Group worth the listening time?

    Yes but you have to stick with it,


    Any additional comments?

    This is a complicated story that intertwines the life of a group of girls and how their lives unfold. I am sure that as a physical book it would be easier to follow, especially for those who tend to listen in the car. Frequent breaks make harder to maintain flow and its not that easy to flick back and recap.Historically interesting reinforcing how far we have come over a short period of time. Each character is different with their own story told over a short but interesting period, The only downside with so many characters is that you have to remember who is who and their life and relationship with the next character. This is not a listen for the feint hearted, stick with it and try to listen consistently so that you maintain flow - it is a long book. There are some scenes which will stick with me for a long time so it obviously has some powerful elements and I did enjoy it and will be able to listen again as I am sure there are some bits that passed me by.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs. K. J. D. CURRIE
    Hayling Island, UK
    3/07/11
    Overall
    "A long lost era - fascinating to read"

    I really enjoyed this quite long story - I felt connected to all the women but I did have to keep reviewing the info as there was a lot to take in.
    Worth a listen - we may advance in technology but people remain the same in principle!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kirstine
    Bonnyrigg, United Kingdom
    20/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Once a trail-blazer, but now seems less so"

    Though the stories are about a group of women graduates from Vasser College in the 1930s the influence of the1960s, when the book was written, shine through. Some of the frankness, particularly over women’s sexual feelings and experiences, were regarded as risqué when the book came out in the 60s but it now seems matter-of-fact. I think it would have had more of an impression on me when I was young. There’s quite a bit about what women expected of life; and the social conventions and child-rearing fashions of the era. The predominance, until relatively recently, of psychoanalysis in American psychiatry is strongly evident and the parts about characters undergoing this treatment were the only boring parts of the book for me.

    As other reviewers have mentioned one has to concentrate, particularly in the earlier part of the book, as so many characters are introduced by name and nickname. But once the book got into its stride I became engrossed in the women’s lives. Some have called it a feminist book and I can see that in describing women’s discontent over the imbalances of ‘power’ in marriage, their disappointments over what life had to offer and the attitudes of some of the male characters could be seen as a polemical, but mostly I think it’s just a book that would appeal more to women than men.

    I was interested to learn elsewhere that Mary McCarthy was a short-story writer as the book is like a series of intersecting short-stories as each woman’s life is described. Some of the lives make more of an impression, particularly Kay and her husband Harald.

    Lorelei King is one of my favourite narrators and she does a grand job helping the listener differentiate among the many characters.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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